Kingswood Camps Isle of Wight horror story - Beware(11 Posts)
My son (10yo) went to Kingswood (previously CampBeaumont) last summer at the Isle of Wight, it was horrific. He called me on the first night at 4am homesick and it sounded like a funfair, all the boys were awake. He was put in a room with boys much older than him, he got bullied and assaulted (whipped with a metal belt by a 14yo) on the third night, racially abused and Kingswood staff covered it up. It went on so long (circa 1am) he filmed it on his phone. He went to get help but no staff were around, he had to get help from the older boys (15-16yos). The staff ultimately intimidated him to remove the video footage on his phone claiming "child protection issues" but in my view to cover up their blatant lack of care and availability to the children. They went further to remove him from camp (I had to pick him up on the Thursday of a sun-sun booking), they told me nothing of the assault(s) it was only when my son, sobbing all the way home, told me about the attack and the video and I checked iCloud and his trash can and found tons of it. The boys using his phone night after night filming as late as 3am, 4am in the morning. Then final footage my son took of him gettin abused and assault none of which did Kingswood tell me about. They just said he was banging on doors in the early hours ( which he did when he was looking for help and the staff was not available). On the end of the video footage you can hear a member of staff finally come into the room when my 10yo son was weeping in pain on the floor after being whipped by a 14yo. He knew exactly what helped because everyone else in the room told him what had happened, but Kingswood staff chose to cover up a crime and intimidate a child in doing so. I had to go to the police eventually as Kingswood chose to call my bluff in that I didn't have the footage which they believed had been deleted. The child who had whipped my son had been left to continue his holiday and his parents were non the wiser whereas my son was left traumatised and thinking he was a criminal.
I also reported to OFSTED but I've now found out that commercial organisations, even residential ones, who look after children over 8 are not bound by any regulatory body including OFSTED. They are just advised to join voluntarily. Therefore although the child assaulted my son, Kingswood does not get brought to task!!! That was such a shock to me. I sent my child in good faith expecting a standard of provision of service and duty of care. I've dropped charges on the boy because his parents were as shocked as I was and I don't wish to criminalise a sleep deprived silly ignorant child, but I'm furious Kingswood will keep packing kids in like sardines in my view to make lots of money and provide minimum service.
Do you realise you posted this twice?
Was this a summer camp, go on your own, American style? Or with his school?
Yes sorry I posted twice. It was a go on your own American style summer camp but the organisation also host school strips.
I read in your post that you are not pursuing charges against the boy. What communication have you had with the Kingswood management or owners?
Lots of communication from me telling them what happened as soon as I saw the footage during the same week when they could have taken appropriate action against the child who ultimately was left to complete his holiday and no action taken. To asking for copies of complaints, disciplinary, anti bullying processes/procedures plus a clear statement as to why they removed my son from camp and why they concealed an assault. I have tons of correspondence. I've spoken to them on the phone where they couldn't apologise enough but in written they've taken no accountability or responsibility to in my view very questionable conduct on their part.
Would you consider taking this to the press? Not a course of action that I would usually suggest but it may be something to consider. Perhaps contact BBC Watchdog.
I think that from what you have described and the evidence you have, you would be justified in taking this to another level. Perhaps contact the local paper or a national organisation. One with a reputation for good investigations ie BBC Watchdog or the Guardian.
Its also worth contacting the NSPCC. What you are describing is poor safeguarding. In the current climate, this is a very hot topic.
If I was planning on sending my dc to this place, I would want to know.
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